Relocation & Remediation
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Moving a refrigerator: tips and tricks

In case you were wondering could you save money by moving a refrigerator yourself, we’ve got all the tips and tricks. But is it really feasible? Astoria movers answer, so read on, take notes, and you will be able to learn how to move a refrigerator the correct way. However, no magical formula will make moving a fridge less challenging. Not only are these cooling appliances cumbersome and bulky, but they’re also costly. Now with our help, you can make the job much easier by knowing how to move a refrigerator properly.

Lemon on ice
You’ll need enough ice to keep your food properly chilled for the duration of the move as well as the period it takes the fridge to cool down once it is moved.

What it takes to move a bulky appliance yourself:

Depending on your situation, sometimes it might be best to leave this painstaking task to the professional local moving companies NYC. But if that’s not an option for you, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. To make sure this pricy household appliance doesn’t get any damage, you need to arm yourself with a little patience and all the right tools. This guide is made for moving a refrigerator from A to B, regardless of how far it has to travel.

You’ll need:

  • Appliance dolly with straps
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Moving blankets
  • Tape or rope
  • Minimum of two people

Follow these steps to safely approach moving a refrigerator

1. Clean out and defrost the appliance.

  1. The first step to moving a refrigerator properly is prepping it thoroughly. You need to empty all the contents of your fridge and either discard or store them in a cooler. Pro tip: plan ahead and try eating all your perishables in the weeks leading up to the move. Cooking during this period will make you less likely to grocery shop last minute.
  2. After you remove the food, clean all surfaces thoroughly. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water. Melting all surfaces in advance prevents accidental water leaks during the move.
  3. Finally, turn your fridge off at least a few hours before moving. But it’s best if you do it 24h before.
  4. Bonus tip: If you add a moisture absorbent substance like activated charcoal inside the refrigerator, it will help prevent odors from building up during the relocation.
Ice melting when moving a refrigerator
You can melt any remaining ice in the freezer using a hair dryer but make sure you clean up the water afterwards.

2. Disconnect your refrigerator according to the user manual.

  • If you have an ice maker and water filter in your fridge, you have to disconnect them well in advance. But make sure you are using the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, most NYC moving companies do not disconnect the fridge for you.
  • After you unplug and completely disconnect the refrigerator, protect it by rolling up the cord and taping it to the back of the fridge.
  • You should either remove the refrigerator doors per the owner’s manual instructions or secure them closed using cords or rope. Keep all screws and pieces together in a zip lock bag.
  • Prior to moving your refrigerator, wrap the exterior of the fridge in more packing supplies such as moving blankets to prevent dings and scratches.
  • In case you need extra protection: Remove refrigerator drawers and glass shelves for safe transport. If you’re not conducting a long distance move, you can tape drawers in place instead. This will ensure safe interstate relocation.

3. Measure appliance and doorways then create a moving plan for your refrigerator.

How you relocate your fridge will be largely dependent on how wide it is and how narrow your doorways are. In some instances, you might need to remove both the doors in your home and the doors on your fridge so that it can fit through.

  • Take a measuring tape and note pad, then write down the height, width, and depth of your fridge.
  • Next, you need to measure the height and width of your doorways and hallways.
  • Create a plan for how you will move the refrigerator through each doorway.
  • The last thing you want is to be moving the refrigerator on the dolly trying to push it through a door, only then realizing that it won’t fit.

5. Slide fridge out and strap onto the dolly.

  • Now is the time to lift the fridge forward slightly and place furniture sliders underneath the back of the refrigerator.
  • Then stand in front of the fridge, grab it by both sides and push it side to side while guiding it forward.
  • In some cases, you might also be able to pull it forward in a straight shot. But make sure you keep your knees bent and back as straight as possible at all times.
  • Next, it’s time to load the fridge onto the appliance dolly. Have one person lift the fridge slightly while the other slides the moving dolly underneath the side of the refrigerator.
  • Do not push the dolly onto the front or back of the fridge. Use the dolly straps to tighten the fridge into place.
  • Then slowly tilt the fridge back, and position it evenly on the dolly.
  • Remember, when moving a refrigerator never tip it back more than 45 degrees. Now you are ready for putting it onto the moving truck!

8. Guide fridge into moving truck.

Use a plank to guide the fridge into the moving truck or pickup truck. A plank or platform is much easier for maneuvering than trying to lift the fridge on the truck yourself.

9. Secure the refrigerator for the move.

We mentioned above that you should avoid laying the refrigerator on its side at all costs. Now that the fridge is on the truck, secure it by using additional straps along the top and sides of it. Pro tip: at this point, it’s easiest to just keep the fridge on the dolly instead of needing to slide it on the dolly again once it gets to its final destination.

Woman working on her laptop in her kitchen
Always store a refrigerator in the upright position.

10. After moving a refrigerator, wait before plugging in and adding food.

Once you relocate, wait a couple of hours before plugging it back in. If for some reason you had to put the fridge on its side, make sure to keep it upright for twice as long as it was on its side before you connect it again. Once you plug it back in, wait between 24-72 hours before adding food.


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